Safe Schools is partnering with three New Hampshire high schools – Souhegan, Proctor Academy and Kearsarge – in a student leadership program to develop new approaches to bullying, teen suicide, and school shootings.
These are hard problems, and it will take fresh eyes, imagination, and transformational thinking to make a difference. We are bringing together teams of outstanding students from great schools to create a culture that values freedom of action, experimentation, collaboration, and diversity.
Diversity is often misunderstood because it covers such a wide range of issues, including life experience, race, gender, age, culture, sexual identity and personal beliefs. In working groups, diversity can cause discomfort, misunderstanding and conflict.
However, it is also true that diversity makes working groups smarter. See this Harvard Business Review article at https://hbr.org/2016/11/why-diverse-teams-are-smarter. As Katherine W. Phillips wrote in “How Diversity Makes Us Smarter” in Scientific American (October 2014):
“The fact is that if you want to build teams or organizations capable of innovating, you need diversity. Diversity enhances creativity. It encourages the search for novel information and perspectives … [and] leads to unfettered discoveries and breakthrough innovations. Even simply being exposed to diversity can change the way you think.”
Our objective is to change the way we think and spark “breakthrough innovations” that make schools and students safer from bullying, teen suicide, and school shootings.
This program has been partly funded by the U.S. Justice Department and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. It will expand in 2022 to five New Hampshire schools.